Iran’s Supreme Leader recently called US talks “poisonous”, confirming speculations that the clerical regime would not negotiate.
Before this, Iran’s President Rouhani supported US talks, but immediately after Khamenei’s Eid al-Fitr speech against negotiations, Rouhani followed suit and said that “Iran had to resist” instead of talk.
Despite this, the hardliners and so-called reformist factions in the regime are still bickering on whether negotiations would save the fragile regime. Some countries have also offered to moderate talks between the US and Iran.
In a speech on June 4, a senior cleric and member of the Assembly of Experts called negotiations, “submission”.
“What the world of arrogance calls negotiations is actually submission. America is not looking to talk about trivial issues,” Ahmad Khatami said.
He also said that the regime would not discontinue its nuclear program.
“Nuclear technology has become indigenous to Iran, and Iran has achieved access to this technology,” the senior hardline cleric added.
Khatami said that the regime would “never negotiate about its missile capability”.
“Therefore we will not negotiate,” he added reiterating Khamenei.
On the contrary, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who was openly hopeful about Japan’s mediation, said that “Japan would probably be able to relay the current situation to the Americans,” adding that he hoped that (Prime Minister) “Abe’s visit would reduce tensions in the region.”
But a former regime official said that “nothing serious could be done in the short term to reduce tensions”.
“The tensions have reached a critical point on both sides, and this includes an ideological confrontation,” Feridoun Majlesi added.
He said as long as “Tehran and Washington were in an ideological and strategic confrontation” with each other, and so long as Iran’s victory meant the US’s defeat and vice versa, “the tensions have reached a point where no mediation is possible.”